In the first American encyclopedia-- the Dobson Encyclopedia, printed between 1789 and 1798, which George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin all subscribed to, the entry for democracy is under 60 words and mostly refers to something the greeks did a few thousand years ago.
the entry for democracy in Dobson's Encyclopaedia. Letters that look like F are actually the letter 's.' I'm guessing that 'Basil' refers to Basel Switzerland.
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I'm guessing that the volume of the encyclopedia that included Democracy was published between 1791 and 1793, so fifteen to seventeen years after the revolution-- pretty early in terms of processing the idea of modern democracy, and about the same time as the French Revolution.
The thing is, we're still figuring out what democracy is. Today, we celebrate independence day. But democracy is a living, breathing phenomenon. That means it can still grow up in different ways and it means that it must be kept alive. It can't be kept for granted. We can still define what Democracy is and what it means to each of us individually and to our nation and the world, collectively.
I believe that Democracy must include respect for the individual but it must also consider the rights and obligations of us collectively as well. Democracy is certainly a bottom-up idea, perhaps one of the most important.
On this July fourth Independence day, think about what democracy means to you and how it can still grow as an emergent phenomenon, how it can get better, smarter and more meaningful to each of us and all of us together. And please share your thoughts in the comments.
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.
Check out his platform at RobKall.com
He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity
He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
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first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
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and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
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more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)